March 11, 2016
Data Coalition News
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The latest:

  • Coalition Endorses a More Open CRS
  • California Leaders on Open Data: Step-by-Step Progress, But No Master Plan
  • Financial Data Summit, March 29: Startup Demos and Speakers!

Coalition Endorses a More Open CRS

Last week a multi-year campaign to let the public use Congress’ resources paid off.

On Thursday, Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Representatives Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and Mike Quigley (D-IL) introduced House and Senate versions of the Equal Access to Congressional Research Service Reports Act of 2016 (Open CRS Act; H.R. 4702 and S. 2639). The Open CRS Act aims to publicly release the renowned legislative research products produced by the Library of Congress’s Congressional Research Service (CRS). 

CRS works exclusively for Congress. Its researchers respond to policy and legal questions from Members of Congress and their staff. CRS reports are not released to the public, but Congressional offices can do whatever they want with non-confidential reports that they receive. In fact, a 1998 Senate Rules Committee memo encouraged members to use their own websites to share reports.

Most Members of Congress and their offices don’t publish the CRS reports they receive, but many circulate them informally. As a result, most major CRS reports trickle out to well-connected interest groups, but not most taxpayers.

The Open CRS Act changes that. The bill directs the Government Publishing Office (GPO) to publish all major, non-confidential CRS reports. The Open CRS Act would provide a long-overdue reform to an awkward system of proprietary materials and leaked reports.

The Open CRS Act isn’t just about publishing the reports. It’s an open data mandate, too, because it requires that CRS content be available for bulk download and maintained in both human and “structured data format.”

To continue reading the latest Coalition blog post, click here. 

California Leaders on Open Data: Step-by-Step Progress, But No Master Plan

From left to right: State Assembly Members Ling Ling Chang and Brian Maienschein answer questions from the Data Coalition’s Hudson Hollister (via StateScoop).

Last week the Data Coalition held our second annual California Data Demo Day in Sacramento. Over 100 open data supporters joined us for two panel discussions and a roomful of tech demos.

Several California agencies are making steady, step-by-step progress toward open data. Agencies like the Department of Justice and the State Treasurer’s office have started to adopt consistent standards to make their data searchable, then publishing data for all to scrutinize and use. And many California municipalities are going further, publishing comprehensive open data sets on topics like spending and public safety.

But the state doesn’t have an overarching plan for how these separate efforts all fit together, which makes it hard for agencies and municipalities to plan and discourages open data companies from building new products.

Last week’s event was hosted by member company Socrata, and the Department of Better Technology chipped in for refreshments. Thanks, Socrata and DoBT!

Our other exhibitors, showing how their solutions handle the challenges of compiling, structuring, and visualizing public sector data, included EsriInformation BuildersOpen GovTableauWorkiva, and Xcential.

To continue reading the Coalition blog post, click here.


March 16: Socrata Digital Government Workshop
Join Socrata and government leaders for a workshop showcasing open data technologies and best practices being used in successful open data programs. During this workshop, you will hear how cities, states, and federal government agencies are using their open data programs to increase operational efficiency, improve quality of life for citizens, and stimulate the economy. To register, click here.

Where: Wednesday, March 16, 12:00pm - 3:00pm 
When: Occidental Grill, 1475 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004
March 29: Financial Data Summit

Startup Demos

Confirmed Speakers

To view the full speaker lineup, click here!
U.S. financial regulatory agencies have only just begun to modernize the information they collect from disconnected documents into transparent, standardized data.

The Data Coalition’s second annual Financial Data Summit will bring together supporters of this crucial transformation. As financial agencies move from plain-text documents to open formats like XBRL, and embrace interoperable data fields such as the Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) across multiple reporting requirements, they enable better transparency for investors, data-driven analytics for investigators, and cheaper compliance for the industry. 

When: Tuesday, 29 March, 2016, 8:00am - 5:00pm
Where: JW Marriott Washington, Washington, DC

To register click here!
California Needs Better Open Data on State Government Spending, Lawmakers Say
Top 3 Roadblocks to Data Transparency in California
In California, civil servants lead the way in open data use — panel
Open CRS Bill Introduced in House and Senate — Coalition Expresses Its Support



Research Data Group
RR Donnelley

Booz Allen Hamilton
MorganFranklin Consulting
StreamLink Software

BackOffice Associates
Center for Organizational Excellence
CGI Federal
Elder Research
Global IDs
Grant Thornton
Information Builders
IRIS Business Services
Merrill Corporation
PR Newswire

BCL Technologies
Gov-PATH Solutions

Trade Association
Object Management Group 


About Us

The Data Coalition advocates on behalf of the private sector and the public interest for the publication of government information as standardized, open data.
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